Wednesday 29 July 2009

Dogs in the Park

Here are some images from 'Potfest in the Park'. I completely forgot to take any so they were all taken by Rodger who thankfully was a bit more with it than I was! The dog seat was the Potfest 'competition' piece, the theme was 'Cultural Connections -Building bridges'. I went through several ideas for a suitable title ranging from 'Bridging the Yap, to 'Canine Connections', but so many people asked, 'Surely you can't SIT on that, will it be STRONG enough'?- that I ended up simply calling it 'SIT!' Rodger caught a shot of someone, namely John Stroomer, doing just that.

The design for the top was based on the building bridges theme, certainly the dogs in question would disrupt the proceedings if they failed to obey the 'sit' command....My 'huge' piece looked so much smaller when it was out in the open. I made the mistake of constructing it at table height, and it wasn't really until it was biscuit fired and I put it on the ground, that I realised that the dogs were much more hidden and slightly 'squashed' by the top than I had anticipated. Next time I will be careful to keep looking at the piece as it will eventually be seen. It is all part of the endless learning.

What a lot of work packing pots is though. Three seats came with us to Potfest and we had to use the caravan as a trailer for both them and the display boards.'Someone' discovered that seats wrapped in blankets and sleeping bags made a pretty cosy nest for cat napping. We were loaded and ready to go, had said goodbye to Allie, when Rodger suddenly remembered something he wanted to check somethng in the caravan. Lucky he did, otherwise we would have had quite a shock to find Timbalada helping us out at Potfest!

It was a really enjoyable show, and it was great to meet so many nice potters and see such a variety of excellent work. It was lovely to meet Margaret Brampton with her very beautiful and delicately painted slipware, it is so interesting when you feel you know someone's work through their blog to see it for real!

Chris Lewis brought some of his wonderful stoneware garden seats of a scale I could only dream of! Quite an inspiration though he does have a walk in kiln which he said he fires only twice a year. I don't think that I could handle that!

Unbelievably I did sell all those mountain bike mugs, so all that frantic work over the last three weeks paid off. I sold two of the bigger pieces, which was great, and got some very nice feedback which makes it all worthwhile. Certainly enough to give me confidence to keep going with them.

It has taken the rest of the week to unpack, put the showroom to rights and generally catch up on all the other stuff that has been piling up. I would love to say that I was able to take a few days off, but I have the Army Windsurfing Prizes order deadline looming. Better press on with that!


  1. Hi Christine, I was so pleased to see how the spotty dog seat has turned out, it is terrific. I love the way you have finished the top of it too.

    Interesting what you say about seeing it in an outdoor setting ("looking so much smaller"), and from above (looking "slightly squashed"). I'm not sure that you could really solve the "scale" thing at that rather grand location, unless you made the seat 12 feet high..., but then it wouldn't be great to sit on unless you were a rock climber!

    I would imagine that the seat would look wonderful, and just right in scale and proportion, in a garden setting where the garden was on sloping ground and the seat could be approached up a little path from below. It would be delightful to be able to view the dog as you climbed to meet it, and to admire the top of the seat before happily sitting on it! Another great place would be where it could be reflected in water. Ahh, I'm dreaming because I like it so much. I'll have to find a way to sell lots more pots so I can have one of your lovely seats shipped out here!

    It is interesting about viewing points and so on, and to consider if it is necessary to distort or exaggerate some parts of an image to make it look "right" from where the viewer will most often see it. I had a similar dilemma years ago when I was painting a mural at a Forest Service Information Center that had to go around a couple of 90 degree bends, and the view I was painting still had to look in perspective.

    So glad that you had a good show and managed to sell a couple of the bigger pieces (and all those mountain bike mugs), that is great news in what are rather odd economic times.

    We had a good weekend here with our open studio, and managed to finish the big change to the place....just in time!
    Best Wishes, P.

  2. Thanks so much for taking such a thoughtful interest Peter.You are right that in that setting it would be hard to achieve a significant enough scale. A few potters did manage, while others placed their objects on white plinths,but then that turns them into something else again.
    I would love to see your Forest Information Centre mural - that does sound challenging.
    Great you got your move done just in time. I hope that your Open Studio went really well and was justly rewarding.